By Robyn Forbes
The Academy Awards, commonly referred to as the Oscars, has long been home to the best and brightest in the motion picture industry. This year’s Oscar award ceremony will welcome both seasoned actors like Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep and new, fresh faces like that of Moonlight star Alex R. Hibbert.
This year’s host will be none other than late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel. On the list of presenters are Oscar winner Halle Berry, 2016 Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio, and Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson.
Last year, a lack of diversity plagued the Oscar stage and resulted in the social media movement #OscarsSoWhite. The Academy seems to have solved that problem this time around with nominees for Best Picture including films like Hidden Figures, Lion, and Fences.
Moonlight and LaLaLand are also back in the spotlight, gaining Best Picture nominations along with Denis Villeneuve’s drama/mystery film Arrival.
Amongst the nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role are first-time nominee Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge, Denzel Washington for Fences, and Ryan Gosling for LaLaLand.
Actresses Natalie Portman and Ruth Negga are two of this year’s Best Actress in a Leading Role nominees for their roles in the films Jackie and Loving, respectively.
Nominees for Best Actress/Actor in a Supporting Role include Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures, Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water, Mahershala Ali for Moonlight and four-time Oscar nominee and one-time Oscar winner Nicole Kidman for Lion.
Those planning to watch the award show on Sunday can expect to see performances from stars Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Sting, and creator of the award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda. Each will be performing their nominated Best Original Song, hopefully bringing a taste of the film to the stage.